Meet The Team
Faculty & Staff
We have a fantastic team of caring and supportive instructors. All Theatre South Playhouse staff are passionate about making a lasting impact in the lives of our students, through their tireless dedication and drive to share their own knowledge and experiences. Get to know our committed team and their role in continuing our educational tradition.
Executive and Artistic Director
With a BFA in Musical Theater and a minor in Directing from The Boston Conservatory, Hillary has spent her entire life performing, directing, producing and teaching. As a professional actress in New York, Hillary spent years performing at Lincoln Center’s The Metropolitan Opera, Tony & Tina’s Wedding and touring the Tri-State area with Joey & Maria’s Wedding. While living in the city, Hillary worked as Assistant Casting Director of the hit show “Late Night with Conan O’Brien”. Hillary can be seen in commercials, TV shows and films such as “Law and Order”, “Sex in The City” and “Keeping the Faith”. In 1998 Disney relocated Hillary to sunny Orlando to perform various singing princesses, and various under the sea creatures. Favorite roles include Helena In "Midsummer Night's Dream", Sonia in too many productions of "Godspell", Dusty and Brenda Lee in "Beehive!", and Audrey in "Little Shop Of Horrors", Local regional credits include: The Little Mermaid in the Orlando Premiere of "Disenchanted", Eponine and Fantine in "Les Miserables", Lucy in "Jekyll and Hyde", Trina in "Falsettos", and Annie in "Annie Get Your Gun".
Hillary started Theatre South Orlando in 2009 and is so proud of how far we've come. She is also a Dr. Phillip's mom with two amazing children who just so happen to love the stage.
Justin has served as music director/pianist at the Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati and the Walnut Street Theatre in Pennsylvania, working with youth ages 8-17. He has performed at several summer stock theatres across the country. Some of his favorite credits include Rock of Ages (Millbrook Playhouse), Heathers (Eagle Theatre), and End of the Rainbow (Highlands Playhouse). Most recently, Justin could be heard playing with the Tuachan Center for the Arts orchestra on their productions of Disney’s When you Wish and The Little Mermaid during their 2019 season. Justin originally hails from Maine but recently has made Orlando his new home, along with his partner.
Justin was the musical director of TSP's Chicago, HAIR, and Be More Chill.
Nick is the Associate Artistic Director at Orlando Shakes.
Most notable theatrical productions include Unnecessary Farce (The Studio Theater Tierra Del Sol at The Villages), Henry V, Much Ado About Nothing (Orlando Shakes), Hills On Fire, The Magnificent Revengers (Tilted Windmill Theatricals), The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Hippodrome Theatre), and A Christmas Karen (Gamiotics Studios).
Nick has also directed Puffs and Mean Girls Jr at Theatre South Playhouse.
Miss Alyssa is a graduate from Rollins College and with a B.A. in Musical Theatre. During her time in school, she earned a consecutive spot on the Dean’s List and served two years as the Music Director for UCF’s acapella group, Gemini Blvd. She's been active in the theatre community for the past 16 years not only as a performer but also as a youth mentor. Her experience in youth leadership includes multiple years as a Youth Director for the Stars of Tomorrow Program at the Cocoa Village Playhouse (ages 6-11) as well as the Assistant Director for the Elementary Summer Intensive at The Viera Studio for the Performing Arts.
This is Alysaa's 2nd year at TSP. She has a love for working with young actors and sharing her passion to motivate and guide young students to success. She keeps our students on track, organized and focussed in their online and in-person classroom.
Acting & Improv
Charles Frierman has been a professional improviser in the Central Florida area for over 15 years. He toured the libraries of Polk County with The Grimy Brothers (Improv for kids) which he was a co-founder of. He was also in over 6 Improvised shows at the Orlando International Fringe Festival including The Sloth, Colonel Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Talent Show, McGrawsky Files, and Doctor Whose Line is it Anyway. The latter of which won best in venue. He also spent over 10 years at Sak Comedy Lab doing the professional ensemble shows, gigs, teaching and being a founding member and long time performer of their long form show called the Early Show under the direction of Mike Carr.
Charles is currently working at the Lakeland Public Library where he assists with storytime for the kids, and teaches improv to the teens.
Jennifer Himes is a multi-skilled artist who has created illustrations for children’s literature, YouTube channels, feature films and an off-broadway musical. She is a Sesame Workshop trained puppeteer who has performed in kids online streaming shows, local theme parks and toured to local schools with Michelee Puppet. Her favorite theatrical role was the blood-thirsty plant Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors.
Private Voice & Piano
Brandy Hooper has a BFA in Musical Theatre from the University of West Florida, a Master of Arts in Voice specializing in Opera and Jazz from Long Island University Post, and is a certified K-12 Music Educator and Choral Director. She has formal training in Singing, Piano, Acting, Theatre studies, and Music Education. She is the founder and Director of the Santa Babies Christmas Caroling Quartet, is an agency-represented Actor, has directed plays, musicals, choirs, and has produced the short film, "Things We Hide". Her favorite roles include BusyBody in Grinchmas at Universal Studios, Emma Goldman in Assassins, Mary Magdalene in Godspell, and Jenny in Company.
Ms. Hooper is so excited to work with the talented students and faculty at Theatre South Playhouse!
Becca graduated from the University of Northern Colorado. She is originally from Colorado where she worked for Theatre Or in Denver. She was the assistant to the producer, and assistant stage manager for the original premiere of "Sisters In Law" with Theatre Or. She has stage managed Newsies and Mean Girls Jr. for Theatre South Playhouse.
Jonny graduated from the American Musical and Dramatics Academy in NYC (AMDA) with a concentration in musical theatre and a minor in dance. He appeared in the off-off-off Broadway production of The Awesome 80s Prom in NYC before relocating to Orlando to dance for Walt Disney World Entertainment and Universal Orlando Entertainment. As an actor he has been seen in The Prom (Barry), Xanadu (Melpomene & Thalia), Urinetown (Hot Blades), Smile, Sweet Charity, West Side Story, Tommy, & Chicago.
Jonny created, directed, and choreographed the original dance show: I Wanna Dance with Somebody! An 80s Dance Spectacular. He has also directed and/or choreographed Smile, Is There Life After High School, Aristocats, The Little Mermaid, and A night of Cameron Mackintosh.
Resident Choreographer & Teaching Artist
Sterling Lovett has been in entertainment for the Walt Disney World Company for 18 years. Performing in parades, shows, and special events, such as Disney's Magical Moments Parade, The Festival of the Lion King show, and currently, Finding Nemo the Musical at Disney's Animal Kingdom. As a director and choreographer some of Sterling’s most recent works include, associate director for Mertz Productions and Viking Cruise Line, Mamma Mia!, In the Heights, and special events at Disney and surrounding Florida communities.
For TSP Sterling has choreographed such shows as Matilda, Urinetown, The Prom, Mean Girls Jr, Chicago, Legally Blonde, and Hair.
Director, Choreographer, Dance Instruction
Laura began her teaching artist career in New York City with Camp Broadway and the New York Kids Club. Since relocating to Florida she has taught, directed, and choreographed with the Orlando REP (The Spongebob Musical), Athens Theatre (Plaid Tidings), Orlando Shakes, Garden Theatre (Chicago: High School Edition), Lake Mary High School (We Will Rock You), and Theatre South Playhouse (Xanadu, Shrek Jr, Rock of Ages: Youth Edition, Newsies).
Laura is a graduate of Bradley University with a B.S. in Theatre performance and received additional training at NYU's Playwright's Horizon Theatre School and Tisch School of the Arts.
Favorite performance credits include: West Side Story, A Christmas Story, Annie, Two Rooms, and True North.
House Manager, Choreographer, & Dance Instruction
Madison Mayer is an actress and teaching artist raised in Central Florida. She started with Act 3 Productions founded by Karen Rugerio while at Dr. Phillips Theatre Magnet Program as a Choreographer, Stage Manager, and general Artist Counselor for various Summer Stock Camp Productions, Shows, and Showcases! Maddie has been working for TSP since 2017. She started as a Guest Teaching Artist for Youth Camps and the Director of the Encore-Aftercare program at TSP. Maddie had directed and choreographed various summer stocks and youth camp productions as well as teaching Musical Theater Dance for the TSP Conservatory for the past year. She excels in organization, creative class planning and child development. Maddie is also no stranger to the world of FLVS, as she is a graduate of the program herself.
Musical Director, Private Voice & Piano Instruction
Bio to come.
Christopher Payen is a graduate from the University of Central Florida with a BA in Theatre and Dance minor degree. Choreography credits include True North! and High School Musical 2 Jr. (Orlando Family Stage) Big, the Musical (Garden Theatre), Something Rotten, The Secret Garden and The Sound of Music (Montverde Academy Theatre Conservatory), Heathers the Musical: High School Edition and Dreamer’s Cafe (Theater West End), West Side Story (Celebration Theatre Co.), Baseball: A Musical Love Letter (Opera Orlando) and The World Goes ‘Round (TheatreWorks FL). Chris has also taught dance classes at Montverde Academy, Performance Edge Dance studio, Kirova Ballet and Theater West End.
Musical Theatre & Acting for Film and TV
Monica Quinn is a stage and screen actress born in Philadelphia. As a SAG-AFTRA/ AEA performer, Monica has numerous stage and film credits.
Monica has a B.A in Musical Theater from UCLA, as well as a Certification in Professional On-Camera Acting from UCLA. In addition to performing, Monica has a heart for arts education and nonprofit work. She received a Masters of Science in Nonprofit Management from Walden University.
As the founder of Chrysalis Pictures, Monica worked with a team to create and develop a show called "Dirty Laundry". Monica also co-directed an Independent Film Festival for 5 years featuring over 300 Independent films. These films focused on social justice and amplifying the voices of BIPOC, LGBTQIA, Women, and Artists with Disabilities.
Miss Christy has a Master's of Arts in Education from The University of Phoenix, licensed in both Florida and North Carolina. She holds an Executive Master's of Business Administration from West Virginia University College of Business and Economics and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the West Virginia University School of Nursing.
Christy has taught as a full time classroom teacher at Windermere Preparatory School, The Franciscan School, and at Theatre South Conservatory. She also tutors math to students in the Southwest Orlando area.
A stage mom, Miss Christy is no stranger to the arts. Her daughter is a seasoned actress at Theatre South Playhouse and loves being part of the family.
She loves working with the students at TSP and helping inspire them to succeed.
Musical Theatre & Private Voice and Piano Instruction
Justin E. Smolik is a graduate of Northwestern University in Chicago with degrees in piano and vocal performance, as well as a Masters of Music in Vocal Pedagogy. While a student in Chicago, he worked as rehearsal pianist for Lyric Opera of Chicago and Roosevelt University. In 2009, Justin took over as Resident Music Director for New Line Theater Company in St. Louis, where he served until 2014. His projects with New Line include I Love My Wife, Two Gentlemen of Verona, bare: a pop opera, Passing Strange, the American regional premiere of Cry-Baby, High Fidelity and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. Prior to his work at New Line, he has music directed or supervised such favorite shows as Songs For A New World, Curtains, and [title of show]. His work as Music Director has received awards both locally and from American Theatre Magazine.
Justin was the Musical Director of TSP's 13: The Musical, Legally Blonde Jr, The Prom, Matilda, and Nunsense.
Originally from NY, Alex earned her BA in Music and English Literature.
Some of her favorite credits include: Legally Blonde (Paulette) & A Midsummer Night's Dream (Helena). As Stage Manager: Hello from Bertha, The Wedding Singer, The Sound of Music, and Urinetown.
Amalea is an actor, singer, arts administrator, and teaching artist who received her BFA in Drama for NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. As an actor, some of her favorite credits include Future Tripping (World Premiere, BroadwayWorld Los Angeles Regional Award nominee), A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Viroqua Shakespeare Festival (Titania/Demetrius), Love, American Style (World Premiere, Charlotte/Savannah), The Glass Menagerie (Laura), The Seagull (Konstantin), and Red Noses (Frapper).
Amalea is passionate about teaching and clowning, which naturally led her to becoming a certified Clown Teacher through The Clown School in LA. Her goal is to utilize the clowning principles to guide actors towards generous, joyful work. In addition, she strives to make classical text accessible to young actors and modern audiences of all ages through her work as a teaching artist and Resident Actor with The Jones Classical Theatre Company.
Nico Watson (they/he) is an actor, singer, and teaching artist local to Orlando. Their work in education expands from Theatre South Playhouse to Orlando Family Stage to UCF College of Medicine. Nico thrives in any opportunity to talk to young people about one of their favorite things in this world, which is theatre. They are thankful for any opportunity to create art, but especially thankful to Theatre South Playhouse for helping them create an ideal classroom.
Alyssa will zegers
Alyssa is a local Orlando stage manager and works as a production. manager at the Dr. Phillips Center. She has managed many shows around town at Orlando Fringe, Theatre South Playhouse, Orlando Shakes, and at DPC.
Ashley is a graduate of Ithaca College with a BFA in Musical Theatre. Her performing and teaching career began in Houston, Texas specializing in ballet, tap, jazz and musical theatre. Workshopping with Broadway choreographers such as Randy Skinner and Baayork Lee.
Ashley’s assistant director/choreographer Credits include The Little Mermaid, Grease, Cats, and Seussical.
Favorite performer credits include Elle Woods (Legally Blonde), Fiona (Shrek: The Musical) and Polly Baker (Crazy for You).